This is part one of a series of posts I will do on parking/ parking meters in Eagle Rock. I have not yet decided whether to stick to Colorado or venture onto Eagle Rock Blvd, and Figueroa Street.
Eagle Rock: 134 Freeway to the North. 2 Freeway to the West. Widest part of Colorado Boulevard is in our town, three lanes wide, which formerly served as part of Route 66. Eagle Rock Boulevard too alternates between two and three lanes. Figueroa, one of the longest streets in Los Angeles ends in Eagle Rock. Cars have several unofficial reasons to have a crush on Eagle Rock with so much freeway-like access through the town. This is not the residents’ decision however as the community actually fought extensively against the freeways cutting our neighborhood. Eagle Rock’s main streets are wide as a result of previously accommodating trolleys. Also, contrary to other parts of LA, Eagle Rock has managed to preserve a significant amount of its historic architecture in the face of an era of strip malls and ‘plazas’ through efforts of groups such as TERA and ERVHS. 1992′s Colorado Specific Plan, part of which included restrictions on future auto-related businesses is a testament to the community’s desire to remain “small town” as its origins and limit ER from becoming a town run by cars– the “car town” which communities such as Cypress Park have been unfortunate enough to fall victim to. In a “car town” the community loses opportunities to connect the neighborhood through pedestrian havens and instead becomes dissected, servicing automobiles over people for stretches on end with auto shops and drive throughs. However, despite Eagle Rock’s holistic and direct efforts to resist the car through combating freeways and strip malls, cars still have a reason to love Eagle Rock– free parking! I think most residents are aware of the failed meters on Colorado, here is a detailed look.
People take free parking for granted and rightfully so as the city Los Angeles itself reluctantly adopted parking meters in 1949. Nowadays people more or less know what to expect: parking lots often have free parking while curbside parking in front of shops have limited hour parking and/or meters. Colorado Boulevard in Eagle Rock features a mix of lots and metered curbside though don’t worry about paying curbside.
Between Eagle Rock Boulevard and Glen Iris, heading East, 19 of 26 parking meters are failed. This results in meters flashing “FAIL” or blank screens and plastic bags over meters (some of which appear on functioning meters as well). This also means a lot more free parking. Don’t want to pay for curbside parking? Move up a space or two and you are bound to find a non-functioning meter. In fact, as the numbers easily show, you are more likely to encounter a failed meter than a working meter.
On the same stretch, between Glen Iris and ER Blvd, heading West the situation is better or worse depending on how one looks. There are less meters though this is because there are more free parking lots. Going west towards Eagle Rock Boulevard of 14 meters 5 are failed.
Of a grand total of 40 meters between ER Blvd and Glen Iris 24 are not functioning. This is more than the city average of 1 in 10 meters not functioning. In such times of financial distress it seems like one logical place to allocate money would be to fix broken parking meters, because when functioning, meters are a consistent source of income for the city.